Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.
India becomes the 2nd most affected nation by the coronavirus, Lebanese volunteers try to rebuild buildings impacted by the August Beirut explosion, Hong Kong police arrest 289 election delay protestors, the Australian government partners with Britain’s University of Oxford for a COVID-19 vaccine and Julian Assange appears in a London court to fight his U.S. extradition request make up this week's five international stories.
India’s increasing coronavirus caseload made the Asian giant the world’s second-worst-hit country behind the United States on Monday, as its efforts to head off economic disaster from the pandemic gain urgency. The 90,802 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total past Brazil with more than 4.2 million cases. India is now behind only the United States, where more than 6.2 million people have been infected, according to Johns Hopkins University. India’s Health Ministry on Monday also reported 1,016 new deaths for a total of 71,642, the third-highest national toll.
Lebanese families are still struggling with rebuilding in the wake of the massive explosion centered at Beirut’s port. Many, already unable to make ends meet because of the country’s economic meltdown, now can’t bear costs of making homes livable. Frustration is high, with the state almost nowhere to be seen and promised international help slow in coming. With winter and the rainy season only weeks away, aid groups are concerned they may not have time or resources for the mammoth job of repairing and rebuilding.
About 290 people were arrested Sunday at protests against the government’s decision to postpone elections for Hong Kong’s legislature, police said. The elections were to have taken place Sunday but Chief Executive Carrie Lam on July 31 postponed them for one year. Lam blamed an upsurge in coronavirus cases, but critics said her government worried the opposition would gain seats if voting went ahead on schedule. One woman was arrested in the Kowloon district of Yau Ma Tei on charges of assault and spreading pro-independence slogans, the police department said on its Facebook page. It said such slogans are illegal under a newly enacted national security law.
Australia announced on Monday it had struck supply and production agreements with pharmaceutical companies worth 1.7 billion Australian dollars ($1.2 billion) over two potential COVID-19 vaccines. Under the agreement, Britain’s University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Australia’s University of Queensland working with CSL will provide more than 84.8 million vaccine doses for Australia’s population of 26 million people, almost entirely manufactured in the Australian city of Melbourne, a government statement said. Australians would have access to 3.8 million doses of the University of Oxford vaccine in January and February, it said.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in a London court on Monday to fight a U.S. extradition request, at a high-stakes hearing that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Assange, who has spent almost a year and a half in a British prison, sat in the dock at the Old Bailey criminal court and formally refused the U.S. demand he be extradited to face trial on espionage charges. Several dozen supporters, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, gathered outside the courthouse, chanting, banging drums and calling his prosecution a threat to press freedom.